Office for Nuclear Regulation

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BAE Systems Barrow - Wet Dock Quay

Information released

All communications since 1 January 2013 between ONR and / or the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator and BAE Systems relating to regulatory expectations with respect to the fault analysis and structural integrity of the Wet Dock Quay.

Following a conversation with the requestor, the original request was refined and we will now provide what we consider to be the key documents, which set out the issues, the detailed regulatory expectations, BAEs intended actions and our notification to BAE that we intend to permission.

Six documents have been identified as within scope.

Exemptions applied

Individual names and personal details have been redacted under Reg13 of Environmental Information Regs 2004 Personal Information, this is an absolute exemption and not subject to the Public Interest Test.

'Attachment A...' - the redaction under para 8.2.1 is personal information, because it can identify an individual. All other redactions are because the information is outside the scope of this request;

'Attachment D...' - the blocked redactions at the top and bottom of the page are because the information is outside the scope of this request.

Additionally some information within the six documents have been redacted under Regulation 12(5) (a) - international relations, defence, national security or public safety.

PIT (Public Interest Test) if applicable

Factors for disclosure

Openess and transparency, issues related to the nuclear industry are subject to scrutiny and debate, there is public interest in information related to nuclear activities and the release of such information.

Factors for withholding

International Relations - Disclosure would go against the 1958 USUK Mutual Defence Agreement. The agreement enables the US and the UK to exchange classified information with the objective of improving each party's atomic weapon design, development, and fabrication capability.

Defence/National Security - Disclosure would highlight vulnerabilities that could be used by those who wished to disrupt the UK's defence capability. It would put the physical safety of the armed forces at risk and will have an adverse impact on the capability and effectiveness of military personnel now or in the future. The public would not expect ONR to release information that would aid such an act.

Conclusion

International Relations

The information should be withheld, because disclosing such information would give the impression that the UK government could not be trusted with confidential information and this could affect our relations with the United States. There is therefore an inherent public interest in preserving international confidences.

Defence/National Security

It would not be in the public interest for potential UK defence vulnerabilities to be made public where that disclosure could cause harm to the UK's defensive capability by enabling an actual or potential enemy to gain an advantage that would be contrary to the UK's defence interests. Therefore, it would favour prudence by not releasing this information.